New-look NZ Pro 3×3 Quest gets underway this weekend

Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) are thrilled to announce a new format 3×3 event which gets underway this weekend in Auckland – the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest.

NZ Pro 3×3 Quest, formerly known as 3×3 Quest Tour, is an invite-only competition that will feature the top 3×3 basketball players in New Zealand with the aim of earning enough FIBA ranking points to qualify for upcoming pinnacle 3×3 events including the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The NZ Pro 3×3 Quest will have a total of eight stops over the next three months – four in Auckland and four in Christchurch – two of the main hubs for basketball talent in Aotearoa. The first stop will be at YMCA Auckland on November 26-27, and the first Christchurch stop will be at Cowles Stadium on December 3-4. The finals will be on March 11 in Auckland.

High Performance 3×3 Director Nikolay Mikhalchuk says the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest is crucial to generate FIBA points and gaining qualification into international 3×3 events.

“The world of 3×3 is changing and we need to adapt quickly to avoid missing out on international opportunities, as other countries are picking up their game.

“Talent identification, opportunities to impress national coaches and building the profile of 3×3 are very important amongst our high performance players across all age groups.

“This event will also bridge a significant gap that has existed at the domestic level historically with women’s participation at Quest Tour events – with our goal to have 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams playing alongside each other for equal profiling,” said Mikhalchuk.

High profile players such as Tai Wynyard and Ella Fotu, who both represented New Zealand at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, will feature at the NZ Pro 3×3 Tour. Other notable names include Sharne Robati, Tiarna Clarke, Kendell Heremaia, Jayden Bezzant and Dom Kelman-Poto, all among a wealth of Tauihi and Sal’s NBL talent.

With the Paris Olympics less than two years away, Mikhalchuk says that these athletes need to make a long-term commitment to being part of the national 3×3 team programme, starting with the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest event.

“Our players need to be part of this programme long-term, which means being available for all points-generating 3×3 events for New Zealand and putting themselves on a pathway to the Olympics and beyond. It’s been great to see these athletes willing to make this level of commitment already.”

Wynyard says the 2024 Olympics are a huge goal for him and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there.

“It’s huge of BBNZ to be able to put these events on for us, giving us opportunity to get better at 3×3 as a country and play the game in tournaments – which also gives us ranking points that allow us into qualifying tournaments.

“The Olympics are definitely a huge goal for me going forward. I think this year I’ve learnt how the game is played on the world stage and we aren’t that far behind. After only just coming together this year and placing in the Top 10 at the World Cup, it shows how well we gelled as a group over a short time,” said Wynyard.

Wynyard sees the potential of 3×3 basketball in the future.

“I think 3×3 is a game that’s going to grow massively in the future – it’s a more fun, faster paced version of basketball.

“We will see a lot of younger kiwis making a name for themselves in the game throughout the next few years,” concluded Wynyard.

Please visit the Basketball NZ Events page for details on the NZ Pro 3×3 Quest:

Full NZ Pro 3×3 Quest schedule:

Nov 26-27 | Auckland YMCA, Auckland
Dec 3-4 | Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Dec 10-11 | Pulman Arena, Auckland
Jan 28-29 | Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Feb 4-5 | Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland
Feb 11-12 | Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Feb 18-19 | Pulman Arena, Auckland
Feb 25-26 | Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Mar 11 | Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland